The Process of Building a House
In March we closed on two acres of land. I naively thought we’d be living in our beautiful new barndominium by the end of the year. I have since discovered that building a home is a process. And it’s a process that takes quite a bit of time. We finally broke ground on November 23rd, a month after we closed our construction loan. I’m hopeful that we get to spend next Christmas at Tanglefoot Farm.
We are building a small house with a big shop. The house is 900 square feet, more than enough for two empty nesters, with a gorgeous open kitchen and living room. The shop/garage is for cars, my vintage camper, and room to work on our latest projects. The two are connected by a covered patio that will be a great place to hang out year around. I spent a lot of time drawing and redrawing plans, trying to pack as much functionality into our barndominium as I could. I’m happy with it on paper, hopefully it will flow as well in real life. I also really like the look of the outside of the house. Dark Gray siding, Austin stone, and a black roof & trim are going to look great. I’ve mocked it up in a landscaping program, and it I love it.
While we waited on bids and plans, and other things, I signed up for a Permaculture Design course, and developed the landscape and garden plans for Tanglefoot. One of the main features is a pond in the front. It will let us store water for irrigation and animals, and the excavated dirt will be used to level the pad for the house.
Other elements in the landscape include an orchard, a large herb garden, and a firepit area. A substantial part of the lot is left for a wildlife corridor, including prairie grasses and the creek area. The barndominium is more or less centered on the site.
The timeline, at least my timeline, will put us in the house by late summer. The landscape design will take about three years to complete, with another three years before the fruit trees began to bear fruit. The goal is to have a sustainable system in place before we retire.
The barndominium will be very energy efficient, with solar providing about 80% of our electricity, and a wood stove to keep it warm in the winter. We have other eco-friendly systems that will help make living here very affordable when we retire. Although it’s definitely a process, we are finally are our way to being homeowners.